Tribal Outreach Programme (TORP)

TORP Village

Begun in 2002, Goodwill’s ‘Tribal Outreach Programme’ (TORP) aims to facilitate tribal communities living within lower Palani hills area to achieve self reliance by promoting education, community organisation and capacity building.  TORP provides children with support to go to school as well as village development and is bringing the whole community on board through active participation in self help groups and credit unions.

Lack of education is a central cause for the high levels of poverty in this region. Adult literacy is generally very low and even the few who have gone to the school dropped out at primary school level.

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Therefore a major component in Goodwill’s TORP intervention is the facilitation of the tribal communities to send their children to the nearby schools and to provide assistance for 100% retention of Tribal children in schools.

TORP provides books, notebooks, school bags, uniforms, raincoats and clothing to all the tribal children who go to the schools.

TORP’s target tribal villages are located around K.C. Patti Village in the Middle and lower Palani Hills. At 800 to 1,000 meters above sea level, this is mainly a coffee and spice growing region, totally dependent on its agricultural produce. Since the glut of coffee on the world market, this area has been hit badly causing widespread poverty and suffering for the children of these mainly tribal communities.  Historically plantation owners have been the main employers of tribal people, but now even this poorly paid casual work is dwindling, coffee plantations are being dug up and lands are being sold. 

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The present TORP project area consists of twenty-one tribal villages and hamlets with a total population of 2,800 of which 900 are below eighteen years of age. Tribal people living in small villages and isolated hamlets have for a long time been the main source of labour for coffee and spice plantations.  Often housed on or near large estates they are paid very low daily wages supplemented by some few seasonally available food items. These very poor communities are often far away from schools and the majority are totally uneducated.  Whilst the UNICEF literacy indicators for India (above) present an improving picture nationally, the adult literacy rate in the project’s target communities is less than 10%.  Low parental literacy, low expectations in children and under resourced schools along with local prejudice, means tribal people believe education is out of their reach.

If you would like to support our Tribal Outreach Programme by sponsoring a village please click here for more information.

TORP is available in the documents below.